Spain is one of the hardest-hit countries by the pandemic which has now reached another milestone after its Covid cases have topped three million. The health ministry has confirmed these cases. The country has reported more than 16,000 cases in 24 hours, making the total number of cases to be 3,005,487. However, the seroprevalence reports which use antibody testing to confirm results estimate that the real number of infected people is much more than this.
The last 24 hours have also confirmed 766 deaths in Spain by covid cases. It has made the total death numbers be 63,061 in the total population of 47 million individuals.
Spain was the first country in Europe which reached one million coronavirus cases in October 2020 and within the first week of January 2021, it reached two million cases. From two million to three million, it took only one month which shows that the country is going through the worst phase of the pandemic with more and more people getting infected every day.
During mid-December, the reports based on seroprevalence confirmed that nearly 4.7 million people in the country are infected. It makes nearly 10% of the population.
The infection rate increased after the new year started and the health officials blamed it all on the Christmas and new year holidays where people forgot that they are in the middle of a pandemic. The easing of rules and restrictions is majorly responsible for the increase in Covid cases in Spain, according to health experts.
Another factor that may or may not play a part in this rapid transmission of the infection is the introduction of mutated strains. In the UK, the mutated strains are found in the resurge of Covid-19 cases. US and Canada both have reported different variants of the coronavirus which are thought to be more deadly and transmissible as compared to the original virus. However, Spain has not reported any major incidence of mutated strains outbreak. But it has imposed restrictions and travel bans on all passengers coming from Brazil, the UK, and South Africa three main hubs of these mutated virus strains. These restrictions are renewed till March 2nd and any decision regarding them will be made later.
Health experts have confirmed that these mutated strains spread at a much higher rate than original coronavirus. It might help these variants to actually bypass the newly launched Covid vaccines. If that is the case, vaccines will turn out ineffective and useless against them.
The deadly Brazilian strain is already confirmed in the country along with South African Covid variant which is identified as the strain with ‘most mutations’. The UK strain has already marked its presence in Spain after nearly 480 cases with the British variant were confirmed in November 2020.
The local health officials believe that the British Covid variant might spread everywhere by March 2021, if left uncontrolled. Only two million individuals in Spain have received Covid vaccine after the vaccination campaign was launched by the end of December.
The government plans to vaccinate at least 70% of the population by this summer. However, the shortage of vaccines and delays in vaccine delivery may change their goals.